Friday, November 21, 2014

Curly Girl Wedding: Decorations

For this week's post in my Curly Girl Wedding series, I'm sharing some of my DIY ideas for the decorations I made, as well as my sources for the ones I bought.

With so many beautiful, inspiring photo shoots - whether real or styled - on Pinterest, it's easy to get carried away with ideas for all the things you could do.  So rather than get overwhelmed with projects, I tried to focus on just a few that I knew I could accomplish and would enhance the theme of the wedding and showcase the beautiful venue.  And I started on these projects very early, so nothing was left to the last minute - other than the chalkboard art, I pretty much finished the decorations about three months before the wedding.

Something else that was important to me was that I use items that I could potentially re-use in the future.  I imagine making a baby's quilt out of the napkins, and decorating the nursery with some of the paper flowers and chalkboard easels.  The frame for the escort cards will serve as a beautiful message or photo board in our kitchen or office.  The milk bottle vases will no doubt be used for years to come in our kitchen.

So first, the tables.  I had already made the napkins and homemade jam to sit prettily at each place setting, and I really wanted the tables to be fairly simple, with just those items along with some candles and flowers.

For the candles, I bought very inexpensive, very plain glass votive holders, which I embellished with bits of cream lace hot-glued around the glass and tied with twine or ribbon.  The lace allowed the candlelight to shine softly through, and looked quite romantic.

For the flowers, which a good friend of mine planned and arranged for me, I bought a dozen vintage glass milk bottles on Save-On-Crafts, a fantastic resource for wedding decorations.  And that adorable little flower pot with the painted blue bicycle sitting next to the typewriter - that's from the same website.  I just love that flower pot and I can't wait to find the perfect spot for it in our home.

The flowers for the tables were sweet and simple, just a few sprigs here and there to brighten up the tables.  The milk bottle vases also served double duty to hold the table number cards.  I designed the cards in Excel, each with a table number and a different quote about love from books such as Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights.  After printing the table number cards on brown card stock, cutting the edges and adding a vintage stamp, they were ready to be tied onto the milk bottles with twine.

Next, the lobby.  There was the old typewriter I borrowed from a friend, in which I placed the story of our engagement, which I'd typed up as though it were a chapter from a book.  A coworker of mine had surprised me on my birthday with a pretty watercolor painting of our engagement cake, and I framed that to place on one of the tables.  A vintage metal birdcage from Michaels provided a place for people to drop any cards they might have brought.  I took a map from one of our road trips, wrapped it around a framed canvas, and added little notes for where we first met, where we've traveled around the state, and where Jamie proposed to me.  It's our map of memories.

As far as the escort cards, I'm disappointed that I didn't take the time to take more photos of this project as I put it together, and that there isn't a better photo to show just how cute they looked, since the photo I've included doesn't highlight the finished project very clearly.  But basically, I found a blue/grey painted frame at Home Goods, which I think was intended as a message board of sorts with metal spokes running up and down through the frame.

So first, I took twine and stretched that back and forth across the frame, stapling the twine into place on the back of the frame.  Then, I cut a piece of grey and white striped, heavy duty fabric and stapled that to the back of the frame to cover up all the zig-zagging twine.  Again, Excel came in handy for designing the escort cards, which I printed  onto brown card stock and attached to the twine with tiny clothespins.  So cute!

We were married outside on a stone patio, which overlooked a woods full of beautiful evergreens surrounding the venue, so really, very little needed to be done outside since there was so much natural beauty.  The paper flower garland for the arbor was my only touch outside.  There are tutorials online for making these rolled paper flowers, and they are so easy to make, although a little time-consuming if you make as many as I did.  I made enough flowers to hot-glue onto grey satin ribbon for approximately 16 feet of garland to string across the 6-foot-wide metal arbor, and I just adore how they looked.  The only other thing I added outside was the "love letter box", which I found at Home Goods.  The box holds our wedding vows, as well as sealed love letters to each other to open on a future anniversary.

And not forgetting those cute chalkboard easels, which were also from Save-on-Crafts.  I bought one for the appetizer and dinner menu, and the other for our signature cocktails from our homemade liqueurs.  The chalkboard art and fonts were a little challenging for me, and I washed the boards and started over more than a few times before I was happy with how they looked.  If you search Pinterest for "chalkboard art", you might get discouraged at the amazing talent you'll find, so I decided to just pick a few elements I liked and felt I could replicate, such as a few little swirly designs, simple drawings and a couple of fonts.

There's a website called Dafont, where you can preview your text in thousands of fonts without actually downloading anything, and I used it to create all of my fonts on the chalkboards, simply by typing in a word or phrase into the preview box, studying the font, and then trying to copy it free-hand onto the chalkboard.

Last, but not least the "Just Married" banner I made to hang on the back of the truck for photos.  To make the banner, I cut squares of fabric leftover from the napkins and sewed them onto grey satin ribbon.  Then, with a set of stencils, a brush, and black acrylic paint, I carefully painted the letters onto each square.  After we used the banner for photos, it was hung from the fireplace mantel for the reception.

Everything is now packed away, but once we're in our house, I'm excited to unpack everything, decide what I can use in our house, and maybe sell the rest for another bride-to-be to enjoy at her wedding...

Wedding Photos by Bri Lamkin Photography